Supporters of another federal stimulus bill have said it’s not just for individuals, but also for Connecticut towns and cities that are hurting.
New data showed coronavirus has cost municipalities hundreds of millions of dollars, and that has just been through the end of the month.
Connecticut towns and cities reported since the coronavirus struck, they’ve experienced a $409 million in lost or delayed revenues, plus, another $64 million in added expenses, and that’s just estimated through the end of June.
You want town halls reopened? It has happened slowly in Connecticut. But there has been a cost for that.
“Costs have been incurred to retrofit municipal buildings, purchase PPE and perform thorough cleanings of buildings and facilities”, said Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) Executive Director Jim Butler.
That has been just one small example of added costs. Couple that with less tax revenue.
Brooklyn First Selectman Rick Ives said for now his town is a few hundred thousand dollars short…better than anticipated, but job losses going forward mean…”We just have no idea who actually is not going to be able to pay us, and then we go through a whole collection process.”
The Connecticut Council of Small Towns said it’s a vicious circle. Because then, budgets get cut.
“What happens is that towns stall projects, and they don’t move forward with projects that are critical not only to their local economy, but to their infrastructure, and to their jobs in their community”, explained Betsy Gara, executive director of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST).
That has been why Congressman Joe Courtney has supported the Heroes Act, the fourth fiscal stimulus bill to help America recover from the coronavirus pandemic. As written, it would bring an estimated $747 million to Eastern Connecticut towns served by U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-3rd District) for this budget year and next.
“It will help, I think, foster a quicker recovery rather than dragging it out by you know putting local government and state government in the hole, which is where we’re heading right now fast, if we don’t act.”
The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed its version of the Heroes Act last month. Congressman Courtney said the GOP-controlled Senate and the Trump administration may be warming up to passing some version of this legislation soon.